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EagleLAN Brings eSports and Competitive Gaming to Southwest Florida


  More than a thousand people are expected to participate in Florida Gulf Coast University’s EagleLAN April 23 at Alico Arena.  The event marks the largest LAN (Local Area Network) party in Southwest Florida. 

EagleLAN, brings together eSports enthusiasts for a day of interactive and competitive video game play.  “Most games are handled through network nowadays so you don’t really get to see the other person,” said EagleLAN event director and FGCU Senior Michael Brito.

“So the LAN aspect of it is getting together in the same venue and playing with each other in a competitive aspect, or even cooperatively, but with the other person right next to you.”

More than three hundred computer monitors will be set up on the floor of the arena as participants take part in tournaments for popular games such as “League of Legends,” “Super Smash Bros IV” and “Street Fighter V.”  The event is even attracting professional players.  This LAN party was organized by student members of FGCU’s eSports Club.

ESports overall as an industry has become pretty huge,” said Brito.

“It’s at the level of regular sports nowadays.  I mean, there are million dollar events that happen annually.  People compete.  They are signed onto different teams, sponsors, things of that nature.  Red Bull, for example, is really big in the eSports industry.  They have their own teams and pros that they sign on just as regular athletes.”

FGCU’s student government provided about $12,000 for the venue, staffing and equipment.  Sponsorships and other costs bring to total price tag to between $18,000 and $20,000.

The event takes place Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to midnight.  There is a fee for those competing in some of the gaming tournaments, but general admission is free.  Organizers hope to make EagleLAN an annual event.